When Tyson Ross toed the rubber in the first inning on Tuesday, it marked his first big league start since mid-April.
Suffice to say, the Padres hurler thrived in his redefined role.
Ross limited the Brewers to one run on two hits over six innings in his return to the starting rotation. He had spent the majority of the season in the San Diego bullpen and made two Minor League starts to build up his stamina.
Manager Bud Black said he thinks Ross can throw 90 or more pitches on Sunday, when he'll face the D-backs in the rubber match of the three-game set. Ross twirled 82 pitches in Tuesday's outing.
Black wouldn't mind his starting pitchers taking the onus off of the club's relievers more often.
"The importance of a rotation pitching deep is very critical to the long-term success of a team. You need it. There's close to 1,500 innings pitched during a year and you'd like your starting pitchers to amass 1,000 or them or more. When that doesn't happen, the bullpen takes on a lot of work."
On Sunday, Ross might encounter an Arizona lineup lacking its usual thunder.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson hinted that he may rest first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who clubbed his 23rd home run in the fifth inning on Saturday to snap an 0-for-11 rut.
"I think Goldy is dragging a bit right now," Gibson said. "He's been carrying a lot of people around for a long time."
Second baseman Aaron Hill sat out Saturday's tilt after he departed Friday's game early with hamstring tightness. He argued with Gibson to play on Saturday, and could be in the lineup on Sunday.
"He's fine," Gibson said. "He's not going to plead his case with me, though."
Patrick Corbin will take the hill for Arizona in search of his 13th win.
Padres: Ross aiming for better mix of pitches
• Black would like to see Ross commit more to his changeup, which has the potential to serve as an effective complement to his heater.
"Once I get a better feel for throwing it in game situations, it will be better," Ross said. "You can baby things in the bullpen a little, but if you do that in the game, the hitters are going to recognize that arm speed differential. I think the key to the deception is the arm speed, making it look like a fastball."
Ross only used the off-speed pitch a handful of times on Tuesday.
"As soon as I see that sign put down, I have to be committed to it," Ross said.
D-backs: Corbin aims to keep rolling
• Over his last three starts -- all wins -- Corbin has logged a 1.31 ERA and has held the opposition to a .184 batting average. He has tallied 26 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings during that span. The southpaw has allowed two or fewer runs in 16 of his 20 starts this season. Corbin has defeated the Padres twice already during the 2013 campaign.
• Gibson has no issue with the aggression Gerardo Parra shows on the field, even though the outfielder might risk injury more than most.
"We don't want him to change the way he plays," Gibson said. "That's the way he is. It's natural reaction. I don't see him playing the game differently. ... If we saw him getting reckless or out of control, I'd say something, but at this point I think he's OK."
• The Padres have won seven of their 11 meetings with the D-backs this season.
• Arizona reliever Will Harris is 2-0 with a 1.09 ERA and 29 strikeouts over his last 27 appearances, spanning 24 2/3 innings.